Engel Scale or Gray Matrix?

by pilgrim on 27th December 2013

Craftsman are known for having good tools to do the job. This is equally true for those who select the Engel Scale – or the Gray Matrix – to help them do their job of communicating the message of the Gospel in contemporary society. As graphical images both help us to see what needs to be done. But how do we choose between them?

Engel Scale

The original Engel Scale

The Engel Scale is the grand-daddy of all such scales, built largely on the earlier work of Viggo Sogaard. Many people today find it useful, but under what conditions might the Gray Matrix become more useful?

As I have worked with people who use both I have noted that the Engel Scale possibly works well in situations where people are drawn toward a ministry that meets their needs. A soup kitchen (which served meals all day) was one example of this as it draws people who have an obvious need: they are hungry! In these situations people are more likely to be open in their attitudes towards Christians and their message, but not necessarily so.

The Gray Matrix is more specifically designed to help engage people who are quite indifferent to Christian belief or are not friendly towards anything Christian.  Helping them to re-direct their lives toward Jesus Christ takes a lot more understanding. Opening up people’s hearts takes more work than simply giving  them knowledge about God: it also has to work on their hearts, feelings and emotions.  In such instances the Gray Matrix is possibly a lot more useful. Winning hearts and minds takes a very personal approach – even in the use of media. (Note that in the Gray Matrix the vertical axis is inverted to conform with conventional x-y axes).
The Engel Scale is also very useful in identifying the roles of both God and the Communicator while the Gray Matrix lays a ‘pathway’ of paving-like slabs (J,K,L,M,N,O in diagram below) over which the pilgrim might travel toward a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Some of these slabs may be media – related while others could be inter-personal.

Pathway to Faith

The Pathway to Faith

The Gray Matrix – especially in its latest revision (below) – expands on the need to find appropriate messages and activities that will appeal to agnostic and atheist materialists who may not have any known awareness of God as a Supreme Being. Generally we might call these ‘sceptics’ – people who have turned their back on organised religion of any kind.

Men and women are sentient beings. They have feelings and emotions as well as a desire for knowledge. The Gray Matrix provides space for the emotions to be addressed and highlights the need for the Christian Communicator to become more sensitive and creative in providing space for these feelings toward a Supreme Being who loves and cares for them to take place.

To learn more about the Gray Matrix click on this link 

Extended Gray Matrix

Extended Gray Matrix

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